UPDATE: Wednesday morning's hearing on HB 4244 was postponed, as the House Human Services Committee did not have the needed quorum. Since Monday, the number of bill opponents more than doubled – from over 5000 to now over 12,000, with more being added hourly.
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers will once again be contemplating another political "hot potato" when they return to the State Capitol this week. As of Monday morning, 5526 (Update now: 5579) opponents have signed onto the Illinois General Assembly website to submit witness slips against HB 4244, a bill introduced and sponsored by only one Democrat lawmaker – Lake County resident Bob Morgan.
HB 4244 would require all doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and medical centers to register their patients' personal immunizations with a state-run database. Currently, the state immunization registry already in place is optional.
Some Morgan constituents are not happy with their state rep's idea. They're calling for neighbors to contact Morgan's office and file opposition slips.
Rep. Morgan's bill is scheduled to be heard in the Democrat-controlled House Human Services' Committee Wednesday morning January 19th at 9 am.
Members of the Human Services Committee are:
Candidates at the federal level are drawing attention to the measure. Republican congressional candidates Jim Marter (IL-14) and Keith Pekau (IL-6) have asked their Facebook followers to file witness slips.
The response to HB 4244 is stirring opposition similar to a bill State Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Chicago) introduced and pulled after thousands of Illinoisans responded negatively. Carroll's bill would have required unvaccinated persons in Illinois to pay their own medical bills if hospitalized with COVID.
Opposition to Rep. Morgan's bill, HB 4259, was unprecedented. Thousands filed opposition witness slips online.